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Choline is a chemical similar to the B vitamins. It works with vitamin B9 (foliate) and an amino acid called methionine. Although the human body can produce choline from lecithin it is generally recognised that it is important to get dietary choline as well. Choline serves various functions in the body; in the structure of cell membranes, protecting the liver from accumulating fat, as the precursor molecule for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and more. Because of rapid development in foetuses and infants, there is a greater need for choline in early life. Human milk has high levels of choline.
Choline is found, not only in the pancreas and liver, but is also a component of every human cell. It has a fat modifying effect similar to bile and, without it, many fat-based nutrients and waste products could not pass in and out of the body's cells. Choline can be helpful in cases of liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatitis. Choline, vitamin B8 (also known as inositol) and methionine belong to a group of compounds called lipotropics which help the liver to process fat in the body. Choline has been shown to protect the liver from certain types of damage and can help reverse damage that has already occurred.
Choline is an essential nutrient for brain health, intelligence and synaptic plasticity. A choline deficiency can impair memory and reasoning and affect mood and focus. Choline is essential, not only for the brain development of foetuses and infants, but may help prevent memory loss associated with aging and Alzheimer's disease and can help with depression. Additionally, it can help lower LDL cholesterol and homocysteine levels associated with cardiovascular disease and may also help protect against some types of cancers. It is also useful in the treatment of asthma and disorders of the nervous system..
Choline also improves athletic performance and stamina and speeds up recovery.
Natural sources of choline in alphabetical order
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Methionine (amino acid)
Vitamin B9 (foliate)
"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC
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